Thursday, July 2, 2009

Album of the Decade, Mk 2

I admit that the albums I selected in my first attempt were not what you might call pop albums. In my mind something like Liars is pop music, but I realize I'm in slim company with that thought. So this time I'm highlighting the catchy stuff. One of the more interesting trends of the decade had been a broader acceptance of the the mainstream by the indie ranks. Many years ago, when pitchfork would review a Kylie Minogue album it would be as an April Fools Joke. Now they review her albums the week they come out. Hell they review Ciara albums now. To a certain extent, I think a good pop song is a good pop song and a good pop album, which is certainly a rarer thing, should be savored.

Goldfrapp - Supernature
I could have gone with Black Cherry which has four of the most perfect pop singles of the decade (if you don't know, then what the fuck have you been dancing to for the past 10 years?), but Supernature is rush straight through from the first cut to the last. I've never been a big fan of closing albums with singles, but Number One is so triumphant here it's a brilliant move. (I know there's a also a bonus track, but that's besides the point.)

Friendly Fires - S/T
It was a real tossup between this and the Cut/Copy album from last year, but this album is so immaculately crafted, there is not a wasted second. Every song on here is layered, brilliant forward looking pop, but still without enough percussion and indie-funkiness to remind you that these guys probably have every Talking Heads album memorized.

Scissor Sisters - S/T
This was not so much a ground breaking record, as it is an accomplished collection of songs that could go from techno to piano ballads to weird acoustic numbers and beyond without any of it sounding out of place. Whenever I finished my end of year lists in college a lot of albums on them would not see much play after the year was over. It wasn't intentional, it was purely a question of what I most enjoyed listening to, and this is one of those albums that I just keep coming back to.

Honorable Mentions:
Cut/Copy - In Ghost Colors
New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom
Muscles - Guns Babes Lemonade

If I had to pick the catchiest label of the decade, Modular Records just may be it. All three of these albums are amazing. Cut/Copy are this decade's New Order, New Young Pony Club make fearlessly catchy post-punk, and Muscles has compressed the last few decades of dance music into stupidly amazing hooks.

And one last random note, both NYPC and Scissor Sisters both pay homage to the famous Roxy Music photo below (possibly one of the greatest music images in all of music) with their album art, a remind that there's still something important to the image of pop, and that's not a bad thing at all.

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